Q: Can you make your waist look wide from the back by doing too many hyper-extensions?
A: I’ve actually been asked this before and I found the question interesting because most people assume that it wouldn’t be possible, but it actually is. Generally speaking, if you do hyper-extensions without weight, the answer is no. But if you routinely do hypers holding a 45 pound plate, you tend to strain and work muscles that create that effect, yes. The general anatomy of the low back, when lean, is that the spinal erectors come down on either side and narrow as they come close to the glutes. They appear to tie into the top of the glutes in an inverted triangle. But when you work this area with too much weight, you can also build the obliques as they wrap around the side of the body. This is something that happens for two reasons: Excess weight in the prone position and sloppy execution (using too much weight). I tell people never to do hypers using more than 20 pounds, and only if they can come up and down using the same speed and do it without any momentum added into the mix. Doing too many side bend type exercises also can cause this to happen. Avoid both, if possible and isolate each muscle as much as possible in separate, deliberate movements.
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